Getting Plugged in to Social Networking
Guest post by Karen Appold
ATLANTA -- Rebecca L. Rogers, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, introduced the “Big 4: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn," during her session titled “The 4-1-1 on Social Networking” at the ASCLS annual meeting.
The session was geared to brand new users as well as those looking to expand their use of social media. For starters, when joining a social network, the first step is to set up a username and password. You will need both of these to re-enter the sites on subsequent visits.
"The first thing you want to do when joining a social network is to set up privacy settings," Rogers said. "Then, be smart about who you befriend (i.e., accept as a friend)."
Regarding Facebook, Rogers advised educators to not befriend students and supervisors to not befriend employees, unless they set up a separate page for them. Her reasoning is that one of your friends could comment on something you posted that would be inappropriate for a student or employee to see. "It's better to be safe," Rogers said.
Rogers also cautioned session attendees about the permanence of postings. "Whatever you post on the Internet will be there forever," she said. "Even if you delete it, it will always be on the Internet. It is a permanent record that might be applicable in a court of law."
Personally, Rogers prefers Twitter because postings are limited to 140 characters. Like Facebook, postings are free and you have to approve everyone who wants to follow your posts.
Rogers, who described herself as the go-to person for ASCLS as the organization is using more and more social platforms to communicate with members, said ASCLS uses Facebook to quickly send out information, such as board member meeting dates. "I don't think Facebook will ever replace Web sites," Rogers continued. "But you can use Facebook to leverage your Web site."
Rogers described LinkedIn as a professional social networking site. Here, participants can post their résumés and credentials, as well as get recommendations posted for all viewers to see. "It's a great tool for job searching," Rogers said.
Karen Appold is a freelance writer who is on site covering the ASCLS meeting. Visit www.WriteNowServices.com.